Monday, November 24, 2008

Blameless...clearing some air

I would just like to clear some understanding on what the word 'blameless' means(reflection on a biblical perspective). I'm doing this because I don't really agree wholly to the meaning of the word given during a sermon that I heard. I think the definition given to the meaning of 'blameless' spells out something else as you shall see.

This is what was said (not word for word but I think I have enough of the main details of what was said):

Earlier though it was explained that people are not perfect and we make mistakes. So how does being blameless work for people like us, though Christians but have weaknesses? The answer to this is: Blameless- a person going to the library doing what people do in the library (study, read books). After doing that the person packs his stuff and goes back home. Unbeknown to the person, he/she accidentally packed a library book that was not borrowed with his/her other stuff. Being honest, this person goes back and admits his/her faults to the librarian on the mistake that was done. This thus frees the person from accusation, and thus the meaning of being blameless.

My understanding of treating blamelessness in the manner explained above is simply implying that if we have done something wrong the 'easy' way out is just a simple confession. And in doing so we defuse any accusation that might come our way. I don't think this is a faithful definition of being blameless.

Being blameless in this perspective is more like
a person knowingly shutting the doors of accusation, by confessing what she/he had done. Knowingly because the person knows the wrong/mistake/sin that he or she had done. And when he/she realizes this, if the person is an honest person, the person goes into confession. In doing so 'defuses' accusations because he/she had taken the step to confess.

I must say that this is not being blameless. This is simply being
honest. Being blameless and honest are two different things. There was a statement that I heard from a speaker once. He gave a definition of integrity and honesty. Integrity he said was- doing what you say. Honesty is- saying what you do. From the illustration that was given in the sermon on being 'blameless' it sounds more like being honest. What then is the meaning of someone being 'blameless'?

Like the statement on integrity that I mentioned above 'saying what you do', being blameless falls into that category. Being a blameless person has a lot to do with how a person lives. A good depiction of a person being blameless is the story of Daniel which you can read in Daniel 6:1-28.

Daniel 6:3 Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

Daniel was a normal man just like us. He was neither a pastor or someone 'serving' in a religious institution. He was rather someone in the secular world, working as an administrator to the king, he was in fact named among the top three men under the king. But what distinguished him amongst the others was that there was 'no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.' We can say that he was constantly living in this manner. He did not require an avenue where he had to cover his bases to diffuse accusations to be blameless. Being blameless was indeed his lifestyle.

But as we all know, in this story people had to create something to entrap Daniel. Of all things, they used his devotion to his God as a means of accusation. But Daniel was vindicated because God was on his side, and in the end it was made evident that Daniel was indeed blameless.

To me, the depiction of being blameless in the sermon does not hit the mark. I just wanted to clarify that I don't really think it shows what being 'blameless' means. Let me render then that, being blameless, a person who is blameless is simply to live your life in integrity. A finer picture of showing what being blameless is from Daniel. I guess we should try to find stories in the same reign.

In the end, being a blameless man/ woman is not just about telling the truth. It is about living your life so well that there is simply no way for people to conjure up a trustworthy accusation. Just think about Jesus' life.

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Hopeful Theo

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OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations